Student Research 2012

2012 Research Grant Results

Name: Ashley S. MacSuga-Gage

Title: Supporting Teachers' Professional Development: Investigating the Impact of a Targeted Intervention on Teachers' Presentation of Opportunities to Respond

Research Proposal: Effective teaching is a complex skill set. In addition to skillfully delivering academic instruction, effective teachers must engage in class-wide classroom management strategies. Unfortunately, in-service teachers receive little professional development and support in adopting and implementing evidence-based classroom management strategies and the traditional models show little to no evidence of success.

The purpose of this study was to test the application of targeted professional development (i.e., self-management plus performance feedback) to increase teachers' presentation of Teacher-Directed Opportunities to Respond (TDOR). This study extended the current research base on supporting teachers' use of class-wide positive behavior support (CWPBS) by


      (a) applying a multi-tiered systems (MTSS) framework to professional development focused on CWPBS,


      (b) focusing on changing teacher behavior to positively impact students' active engagement,


      (c) utilizing a general outcome measure to assess student academic achievement, and


    (d) applying an experimental research design (to examine the effects of targeted professional development package (i.e., self-management plus performance feedback) intervention with in-service teachers who did not respond to universal training.



Hypothesis or Questions:

Research Question #1. Is there a functional relationship between (a) teachers' response to targeted professional development (i.e., a targeted intervention package including didactic training, self-management, and performance feedback; Tier 2), following didactic training and self-monitoring of TD-OTRs (Tier 1), and (b) teacher behavior (i.e., the rate of TD-OTRs) for Providing Classroom Management professional development Within an MTSS Framework 43 teachers whose rate of TD-OTRs was below the criterion level (3.00 per min) after Tier 1 training?

Research Hypothesis # 1. Teachers,' whose rates of TD-OTRs were below the criterion level after Tier 1 training, will increase their presentation of opportunities to respond during and after engaging in tier 2 (i.e., a targeted intervention package).

Research Question #2. Is there a corresponding relationship between teacher behavior change (increases in TD-OTR rates) and students' level of academic engagement and disruptive behavior (measured by Direct Behavior Rating) and achievement (DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency)?

Research Hypothesis 2. Teachers' increased presentation of TD-OTRs will increase student active engagement, and decrease disruptive behavior as measured by Direct Behavior Rating, and student academic achievement, as measured by DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency.



This study explored the impact of targeted professional development on teachers' behavior (i.e., teachers' presentation of TD-OTRs) and the commensurate impacts on student outcomes (i.e., student behavior and academic achievement). Specifically, this study merged prior research on teacher professional development (e.g., self-monitoring, self-management, and performance feedback) shown to correlate with increases in teachers' use of classroom management strategies with the CWPBS practice of providing students with increased TD-OTRs.

Although experimental control was not achieved due to teachers' response to universal intervention, this study did provide rigorously conducted descriptive case studies detailing the impact that the implementation of universal and targeted professional development may have had on both teacher and student behavior. This study builds our knowledge base by bringing an effective research-based CWPBS practice (i.e., increased rates of teacher presentation of TD-OTRs) to schools through the application of universal and targeted support informed by the MTSS framework. Given the appropriate level of professional development (i.e., universal professional development for four teachers and targeted professional development for one teacher), teachers demonstrated mean rates of TD-OTR presentation that exceeded the criterion for success.

Further, student outcomes indicated that when teachers engaged in optimal rates of TD-OTR, moderate/high-risk students and low-risk comparison peers displayed the lowest levels of disruptive behavior and highest levels of academic engagement.

Thus, universal and targeted professional development supports may fill the critical gap between ineffective one-time train-and-hope and more effective and efficient MTSS models.

View the Results